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The Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership Announces Funding Recipients

Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership Program

July 6, 2017

The Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership is pleased to announce the following six projects have been awarded funding for 2017-18. The mission of the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership is to partner with Drexel University faculty to develop products that will save, extend, and improve the lives of patients suffering from any disease or condition. Since inception of the program in 2005 nearly 50 projects have received a total of $7.6 million in support.

The 6-month proposal process focusses on understanding of the market need and commercial viability of the project, resulting in research aims that will derisk a project toward commercial success. In addition, the projects selected receive enhanced technology transfer services from Drexel’s Office of Technology Commercialization. The Coulter program also partners with faculty in the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship for a series of commercialization seminars during which applicants learn about topics including market analysis, company formation, and intellectual property. Teams progress through two rounds of oral presentations, responding to detailed feedback at each step in the proposal development process.

Projects were selected based on the following criteria.

  • Significant unmet or underserved clinical need

  • Scientific merit, and substantial improvement over current solutions or standard clinical practice

  • Strength and nature of the clinical collaboration

  • Reasonable and achievable milestones

  • Intellectual property position

  • High probability of attracting follow-on funding, within 2-3 years of the Coulter award

The program has awarded over $800,000 total for 2017-18 to the following projects.

Small Molecule Modulators of Hydrogen Sulfide Levels as a Novel Treatment for Heart Failure
Project Team: Marilyn S. Jorns, PhD (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), Howard J. Eisen, MD (Division of Cardiology), Patrick Y.S. Lam, PhD (Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center)

Development of Inhibitors of RAD52 as a Therapy Against BRCA-Deficient Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer
Project Team: Alexander V. Mazin, PhD (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), Lydia T. Komarnicky, MD (Radiation Oncology), Patrick Y.S. Lam, PhD (Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center)

Novel Intravenous Ultrasound Contrast Agent for Imaging the Heart
Project Team: Steven Wrenn, PhD (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Andrew Kohut, MD (Division of Cardiology), Aaron Fafarman, PhD (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Brett Angel, MD (Division of Cardiology)

Development of Soluble Small Molecule Anti-fibrotics for the Treatment of Fibrosis in the Orphan Disease Systemic Scleroderma
Project team: Carol M. Artlett, PhD, (Microbiology and Immunology) Sandhya Kortagere, PhD (Microbiology and Immunology),

Injectable Hydrogel Delivering Therapeutic Levels of Minocycline to Reduce the Secondary Injury Process of Spinal Cord Injuries
Project Team: Yinghui Zhong, PhD (School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems) Zakaria Hakma, MD (Neurosurgery)

New Small Molecule Compounds for the Therapy of Metastatic Breast Cancer
Project Team: Alessandro Fatatis, MD, PhD (Pharmacology and Physiology), Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD (Pharmacology and Physiology)